Assistants must gain their Executive’s confidence. They rely so heavily on you that the only way for the relationship to work is if they can trust you with anything they throw at you. You must also inspire trust in your colleagues; you are the bridge between the top level. Executives and the rest of the employees must trust that you know what you are doing. If they don’t, you will find they go straight to the Executive rather than coming to you first. This can cause no end of headaches for you. So, inspiring trust is keeping confidence and also inspiring others to trust your skills. Getting this right will make your job a whole lot easier.
Persuading people to do things for you or getting them around to your way of thinking is tough, but how much easier would your job be if you had excellent persuasion skills? Being persuasive comes down to communication and confidence, speaking passionately, yes, but also getting people to think it was their idea in the first place. I’ve always found if you talk passionately about something but base what you are saying, it is harder to be ignored.
I’ve written a lot about this over the years. Establishing a rapport with those around you, particularly your Executive, is essential. Communication, it is the key to everything. Affinity comes down to, in my mind, treating everyone with respect, trying to get to know them on a human level, and understanding their work style and how they like to communicate.
Humour gets you a long way… a loooonnnggg way!
Having a solid network makes the job of an Assistant so much easier. I can not begin to tell you, not just within your organisation but also with your clients, suppliers, and other Assistants. It is so important to be able to speak to people and get help when you need to. Networking is a two-way street, so help others, build those bridges and connect people you think could support each other. If you have a strong network, you can solve any problem.
My very last point about interpersonal skills is this. Take an interest in other people, be nosy and ask questions. It can be challenging when you have so much work to do. You want to get your head down and get on with everything in front of you, but you’ve got to work with your colleagues and your Executive and build those relationships.
In conclusion, the role of an Assistant is unique and requires good interpersonal skills. It takes work and dedication to build up these components that are so essential for this role.
Additionally, it’s vital to nurture your emotional intelligence as you require the ability to get along with various stakeholders in different scenarios. Being an effective team player, using tact, diplomacy and understanding nuances in every conversation can naturally lead to great success in any organisation.
Developing your interpersonal skills is paramount if you want to succeed as an Assistant. To assist with this journey, be sure to enrol on the Assistant Essentials Online Course for guidance on all aspects of what it takes to thrive in such a challenging yet rewarding profession. Unlocking the potential within yourself could be one of the best investments you make; personal growth breeds confidence and sets a person up for future successes